The Dual Role of the Nation State in the Evolution of World Citizenship



Five hundred years ago, the inhabitants of some European cities possessed certain rights, privileges and duties not available to people living outside the protection of city walls. Since then, the rights first associated with medieval ‘city’ dwellers, from which the terms ‘citizens’ and ‘citizenship’ are derived, have been extended to others and their meaning has been elaborated. But now, as then, not everyone enjoys the benefits of citizenship. Many states restrict its application and derogate its meaning. This can give rise to conflict within and between states, particularly where ethnicity and religion are used to define it.


Civil Society Social Movement Eighteenth Century Dual Role European State 
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© Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs 1997

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